Goodbye LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc....Hello Social Networking Aggregates

I am sure many of you of you know the drill: log onto email [check], log onto Twitter [check], log onto Facebook [check], log onto LinkedIn [check], log onto another social network and another one, etc..... Why hasn't someone come up with an easier way to manage our social networks and aggregate them into one application.

Wait, not all hope is lost!

Over the past few weeks, I have been seeing many more tools offering social networking aggregation or mash up services. I think this will be one of the next 'big things' that we see in the social media/networking space.

It made sense that sooner or later we were going to require these services and I think it is great that this need has been addressed. With so many social networks that have been created to communicate with each other, it was becoming time consuming and ineffective to log onto each network individually and check to see who is saying what and where.

These SNS (social network services) mash up sites basically aggregate many of your social networks onto one application or web browser. I have had the chance to try a few of these apps and I think we are still at early adoption stage to say that any one application has it right. Some are too slow, some don't have access to enough networks, some are not available for mac (disgby.com - hope you see this), etc....

Anyway, here are my thoughts on a few of the Social Networking Aggregate site that I have used or seen available:

Orsiso: http://orsiso.com/ - I downloaded Orsiso this week and have started to use it. My first impression is that I like it, it has a nice user interface that allows me to check and see what is happening on my various social networks. It also has a nice feature where you can group your various contacts into 1st Level through to 4th Level contacts - allowing you to keep track of the people you talk to regularly or want to hear from. On the downside - I find that the service is slow, many updates either do not show up on Orsiso or show up much later then when they are actually posted. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed I would say it is my 2nd favorite at the moment.

Google Wave: http://www.google.com/ - I am waiting on a few invitations to come through before I can actually start using Wave - my initial thought from what I have seen is that you can only communicate with other Google Wave users - the tools look great, but it will be a long time before everyone is using wave. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed I have to give it a NA score as I have not actually used this tool yet.

Digsby: http://www.digsby.com - The first thing that comes to mind is frustration! Digsby is not yet available on Mac so when I tried to use it on my home laptop - no luck. Ok the next day I downloaded it onto my work laptop, but because of my firewall protections I can not use it at work. It is too bad, it looks like a good tool, but in this competitive environment, you have to make things easy for people to use - my initial exposure to Digsby has been difficult and I am not sure I will go back unless it becomes easier to use. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed this was my least favorite out of the 5 listed.

Flock.com: http://flock.com/ - This was interesting, Flock is a web browser which integrates your social networking profiles into your web browser. I only had a quick play with it, but didn't immediately see the value add in it. It was good you could log onto Twitter or Facebook and have that information on a sidebar, but it seemed to defeat the purpose because it opened up a new webpage with every social network you joined. I was thinking if this is the case why can't I just do this in Chrome or IE or any other Web Browser. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed this was just ahead of Digsby and well below Orsiso.

Tweetdeck: http://tweetdeck.com/ - I have been using Tweetdeck ever since I started using Twitter over 18 months ago. Tweetdeck is getting better as it now has Facebook and Myspace integration. I like how you can create columns to follow the people or keywords you want to and the results come into Tweetdeck in real time without the same delay that happens with Orsiso. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed this is the original one I used and is still my favorite, it is number 1 for me in the list.

If we could take bits and pieces from each of these apps - I think there would be a great all purpose app to use. I think we will see a good app come out that will stand above the rest and become dominant in this space. It will be fun to see who comes up with that app. I think that someone will get it right in the near future and I think it is great because this will certainly make social networking so much easier to manage for many people.

This article was originally published on the blog David's Journal on Tap.

Comments:

A friend and I were talking about just this problem and how to crack it. I thought of having a single source of truth for an individual person -- a website where you can identify all the feeds that belong to you (twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and then aggregate it into a single feed. That way, you don't have to hop from site to site to site in order to keep track of what a specific friend is doing. But, as we thought a bit more about it, we decided it might be just a bit too stalkerific...

Posted by C. Scyphers on October 29, 2009 at 04:30 AM CST #

Axel Schultze turned me onto this. Thanks Axel! If only we could develop a way to quickly absorb all this information more effectively. One reason I prefer Twitter over blogs is the limit of characters. What was that wonderful line out of the movie "Amadeus"? "Too many notes"... Guess I show my age.

Posted by Alexander on October 29, 2009 at 02:57 PM CST #

I've been interested in aggregation tools since experienceing the scenarion you described above a few years ago. I've looked at most of the aggregation services you mentioned above but one is clearly the winner, in my opinion. OrSiSo. It stands for ORganize, SImplify and SOcialize. OrSiSo has features like social firewall and IM aggregation. It's a perfect social and business tool. I liked it so much I co-founded an OrSiSo group on LinkedIn. I can't imagine having thousands of friends on Facebook or tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, but if I did, I know OrSiSo will allow me to parse the threads by level of closeness (there are five levels, or rings). You can stream images and post your status on all your social networks with one press of the send key. Try it out. www.orsiso.com.

Posted by Tony on November 02, 2009 at 10:27 AM CST #

The CTO of Travelocity has come up with a solution. It's called Blastoff and it's a webpage that you make your homepage and it becomes your web portal. There is 4 major areas, Information- where all your news and sports information is, Social- where all your Social networking sites reside ie. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In. Media- where all you Music and Videos are- YouTube, Hulu, AOL Player etc. and Video Games- hundreds of online video games you can access all day. The great part is that it is also a networking site where you can invite other people to join your network and when they shop online from over 300 retailers you and they get paid a commission. Check it out!

Posted by Chad Moreland on November 03, 2009 at 01:00 AM CST #

Social Network Aggregators have been there for a while, remember FriendFeed, recently aquired by Facebook, Lifestream and Sendible. Keep in mind that these are services that help you follow updates from friends and post new text updates. You will spend less time on the Social Networks. For anything else, you will still need the Social Network itself. Think of managing friends, creating photo albums, getting birthday reminders, etc.

Posted by iFreek on November 24, 2009 at 10:49 AM CST #

Thanks for good information update. I like it.

Posted by Nahiaali on December 07, 2009 at 06:03 AM CST #

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